The Frankenpattern Shirtdress

9.29.2014

Oh hello, didn't see you there because I was getting all "Mommie Dearest" on Desmond. "No wire coat hangers IN THIS HOUSE!" These sort of things happen when you put on your spike heels and a giant rhinestone brooch. Fear my florals, folks.
If it had not been for the tsunami of germs this month, than I probably would have blogged about plans for the PR Frankenpattern contest. You know, before the project was actually done. Oh well, let's do a quick flashback to bring everyone up to speed. *Cue star wipe*

Picking a project for the Frankenpattern contest was a bit difficult. For one my brain went blank when it came to Frankenpatterning on a deadline.  The little gray cells went, "Pffft, we do what we want and right now that's marathoning two seasons of Mr. Selfridge. Suck it chump."  In addition the no drafting rule part of the contest kind of tied my hands. But, but, but, what if I need to tweak stuff?  I gots to tweak!!!  Between those two things I still didn't have a project sorted out by the time the contest started. Crap, better scour the internet for inspiration.

Burda came through for me with this plus sized dress pattern. Hey pretty lady.
Under different circumstances I would have bought the burda pattern and graded it down to fit me.  But who really want to do that, am I right? Of to the pattern stash I went to rifle around for something similar. What's this I see? McCall's 4769(OOP) and Bluegingerdoll Betsy have similar lines and all I'd have to do is join them at the waist. Perfect! Now you two jump in that shoe box and make me a franken baby.
Haa haaa, I wish that you could throw two patterns in a box and have them magically morph together. "Wonder twins powers activate - shape of a bitchen shirtdress!" Would really save on tape.
I used view E with the 3/4 length cuffed sleeves for the top half of the garment. Those of you with technical drawings in front of you might notice that I did make a pattern tweak. Scandalous! Yup, I removed the button band and extended the front edge of the bodice for the buttons. Figured contest mangers aren't eligible for prizes, so why not make the garment the way I wanted. Do as I say, not as I do. *wink, wink*
I've already make the View A of Betsy numerous times, so the plan was to fit the McCall's bodice to the skirt waistband. First step, grade down the bodice cause size 14 isn't in the larger size nest. Oops. Here I was all smug about not having to grade down a pattern. After that process was complete I added mostly standard fitting adjustments. Here's a list of all the things done to the pattern.
- Dropped the side seam dart 1" and shortened the waist dart by 1".
- 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment on the shoulder and the sleeve cap.
- Dropped the sleeve cap 1/2" and I also flattened the front of the sleeve a bit more. There seemed to be more ease in that location.
- Cut 5/8" of length off the collar. I may have made an grading error which caused the collar to be too long. Didn't feel like investigating it.
- Sway back adjustment of 1/4".
- Increased the back dart intake by 3/8".
- Extended the CF by 1 1/2" to replace the button band.
- Added a side seam zipper on the left side so the dress could be gotten on/off.
Increasing the size of the back darts made the back half of the blouse fit to the skirt. On the front I just overlapped the center fronts until the side seams matched up. The overlap ended up being 1" which was the perfect amount for the 5/8" buttons. It's nice when things work out when you're really just winging it.

The dress is made out of yet another stashed Ascher Studio print cotton. I stashed a lot last summer and it's a good thing to since no one seemed to stock new prints this year.  Come on Ascher Studio, I need more vintage feeling large scale flora prints. They complete me.  Anyway this cotton has zero stretch which does make getting the dress off and on "interesting." A little bit of shimming is involved, but I did leave myself enough ease so that no seams are in danger. Aside from that, I think this fabric complements the design perfectly.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with this mash up, but there are two things I would change. Number one, the bust area and back seem a little blousey.
It's not horrible and one doesn't want to remove so much ease that their woven garment becomes uncomfortable. Still it seems a touch bigger than my usual fit.

Number 2, forgot to move the waist/back darts a bit so that they matched up with one of the Betsy darts. Guess my quality assurance Frog was asleep on the job about that one. *cough, passing the buck, cough*
So there you go, another frankpattern creation released into the wild. I'm available to berate children/coworkers/significant others in my floral power shirtdress. Just call and make an appointment with Froggie. I promise to show up looking stern and commanding and not like this.

30 comments:

  1. Ahh, I love this print! The dress looks great on you - classy but casual at the same time. :)


    It's tough getting the upper back on a woven garment to lay flat while still being able to move around comfortably -- at least, I haven't figured out a solution to this yet. Maybe the solution is just to buy fabric with a little stretch?


    Glad to hear you're feeling better!

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  2. Dark floral print! So perfect for fall. I could use your services for a couple of teens I know.... if the dress is that powerful...SEND it NOW!

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  3. The McCall Pattern CompanySeptember 29, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Smokin' hot in this dress! Great job.

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  4. Perfection (dart alignment aside)! Love the fabric, you have the best stash!

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  5. I'd been wondering what this dress was as you worked on it! I looks great on you. I like the straight skirt!

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  6. I love that last picture because it looks so much like your son!
    Lovely print and lovely frankenpattern. Once again I bow down to your (and Froggie's) mad skills!

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  7. I'm a newcomer to your blog and love what I see! Great dress.

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  8. oh yes, i love that burda pattern, i know i've admired it a time or two! you did a fantastic job recreating it with these patterns (no one is looking at the errant dart matchup!). and that fabric—big floral on a dark background... be still my heart! i love it.

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  9. What a fabulous shirt-dress! Such a great job pattern tweaking. I love your fabric, I have the same that I bought from Gertie. I made mine into a vintage vogue with a circle skirt, its great in the pencil skirt too.

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  10. Thanks Carolyn. Knock on wood but I may be over all the head colds for now. Hooray! I agree on the difficulty of getting fitted woven garments to lay flat. Probably should stick to stretch wovens if the garment is more fitted. Or maybe it's a fitting puzzle to work out. :)

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  11. Thank you Margo. I will put on my no sense face and whip those teens into shape....or throw cookies at them. :)

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  12. Thanks Sarah. Now I'm going back to the Fall sewing list. :)

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  13. Thanks Vicki, we can just pretend the dart thing is a "design feature." Yeah, let's go with that. :)

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  14. Thanks Gillian. Wasn't sure if the idea was going to work out at the start. Kind of half assed the muslin.

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  15. Thank you Heather. LOL, I guess Desmond he's his goofy genes honestly. Feel like I should attach this picture.

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  16. Thanks Heather, I was going to show you a silly pic of Desmond but Disqus is not having it. We do kind of look a bit alike when we dance around.

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  17. Thank so much Gail. I hope you enjoy reading.

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  18. Thank you Barbara. I got my fabric from Gertie too. :) I love the thought of your circle skirt dress. Mmmmmm pretty.

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  19. Thank you Lisa. That Burda pattern, so nice. Maybe we should break down and grade it to fit us.

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  20. Dude! You make such cool stuff. I love this print with this pattern mash up! Someday you should come sew with me!

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  21. Thanks Emily. I would love to come sew with you. Need a transporter to beam in. :)

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  22. www.tresbienensemble.comOctober 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    This is a fabulous dress! I really, love the shape, and I really, really love the black background with those bright florals!

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  23. Thanks Michelle. :) Told myself I had to use a stash fabric for this project. Too much other fabric bought last month.

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  24. Thank you Sabine. If you bribe Froggie you may find yourself with access to the stash. :)

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  25. Ooh! This is fabulous. I love the original pattern, and you did a fabulous job of knocking it off!

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  26. Thanks Laura! The pattern stash came through for me. Guess that's not all too surprising given the amount of patterns I buy. ;)

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